Wicked at his game

Danette Dooley
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Chris Isaak at Mile One Saturday

Chris Isaak is thinking about going back into the closet where he wrote his hit song "Somebody's Crying."

Both the song and the album "Forever Blue" were nominated for Grammy awards.

Isaak laughs when asked if he really wrote the song in such a confined space.

"I did," he says.

Chris Isaak and Silvertone will play at Mile One Centre Saturday. -Submitted photo

Chris Isaak is thinking about going back into the closet where he wrote his hit song "Somebody's Crying."

Both the song and the album "Forever Blue" were nominated for Grammy awards.

Isaak laughs when asked if he really wrote the song in such a confined space.

"I did," he says.

"It's funny because the person whose closet it was is out on the road with me. He's my buddy who does the clothing and backstage for the band. He's a longtime friend. We've known each other for years."

Isaak wrote the song after breaking up with a girlfriend.

"I was pretty upset and finally somebody said, 'You've got to get out of your house and come to this party.' So, I went to the party and I hated it. There were all these people having a good time and I felt terrible."

Solace and guitar

Isaak found not only solace but also an old guitar in the closet hidden amongst the jackets.

"I sat down with the guitar there in the closet because it was quiet and started writing. I've got to get back in that closet," he laughs when the Grammy nomination is mentioned.

Isaak has rubbed shoulders with the best in the business over the years. He once opened for Roy Orbison who died two decades ago at age 52 - Isaak's current age.

"He gave me all kinds of advice and all kinds of encouragement," Isaak says, describing Orbison as "the nicest guy I've ever met in show business."

"He was really a sweet man and we got along great. Because besides being a couple of singers and songwriters, we were also small-town rednecks in some way. So we have a kind of shared background."

One of the pieces of advice Orbison gave Isaak was no matter how sad a song you're writing, it always has to have some hope.

"And that's good advice. He doesn't have stuff that's just down. 'Pretty Woman' - I guess I'll go home ... but wait, I think she's coming back towards me. So there's always something (positive) in there," he says of Orbison's worldwide hit.

Born in Stockton, California, Isaak now lives in San Francisco but spends about 11 months of the year touring and working in other areas.

He released his first album "Silvertone" in 1984. Another eight albums and 12 singles followed.

His hit song "Baby Did A Bad Thing" also from the "Forever Blue" album, is featured in the film "Eyes Wide Shut" starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

"The director asked Nicole Kidman what kind of music she would be comfortable with because she was going to do this nude seduction scene," Isaak recalls.

Kidman suggested Isaak's song. The director loved it as well.

Thanks to Nicole Kidman

"So, I owe a lot of thanks to Nicole for that one," he says.

Isaak has also acted in several motion pictures and starred in his own TV series "The Chris Isaak Show," out of Vancouver.

"The three years we did that show was the most fun I've ever had in my life. It was going to high school only this time I was popular," he laughs.

Isaak is also an avid surfer, amateur boxer and a former Golden Gloves champion.

"We go over well in Australia and I'm glad we do because I love surfing over there," he says.

He's given up the boxing, however, to protect his hands.

"Hitting something as hard as I can every day isn't good for a guitar player so I'm sticking to surfing."

Isaak will be performing at Mile One Centre on Saturday.

Those who buy tickets to the concert will likely get their money's worth when he and his rock 'n' roll band Silvertone takes to the stage.

"We're all knuckle heads and we really put on a performance to entertain people. You come and you sit down and for a couple of hours and you forget your marital and tax problems, they evaporate."

Tries to be accessible

Isaak says he always walks about so that people in the back can get a good look as well.

"And after the show, if anybody wants to come by, I always hang out and sign autographs and meet people until everybody goes home."

Isaak learned the importance of keeping his fans happy long before he became a star.

"Years ago I went and saw Ernest Tubb, the country singer. I was really a big fan but I was broke. Then after the show I got in the line and I got to shake his hand and I remember that. It's a really good thing to do for people who come to see you, at least to say hi," he says.

Flamboyant stage clothes

In addition to the band's music, Isaak fans will no doubt appreciate his stage clothes, including one suit that's covered in solid mirror and weights about 35 pounds.

"I've got some stage clothes that I wear that I'm telling you Liberace would turn doing as being too flamboyant," Isaak laughs.

Sara Slean will also perform at Saturday's Mile One show.

danette@nl.rogers.com

Geographic location: Stockton, California, San Francisco, Vancouver Australia

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • karin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    He looks EXACTLY like the picture!

    Go see him and his SEXY BAND, SILVERTONE!

  • Ms C
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Luckily, I bought good tickets for Chris Isaac 1st when they went on sale - & seats were excellent. I googled & found out Chris puts off a great show and has devoted fans that follow him everywhere. I was delighted that Sarah Slean is joining him - I would probably not have gone to a solo show of hers (although many people love her shows). The even better news is that I checked online & there are PLENTY OF GOOD TICKETS AVAILABLE - BECAUSE THIS IS A MOLSON CLUB SET-UP, ALL SEATS ARE FAIRLY CLOSE TO THE STAGE. I wish Mile One would announce opening acts earlier (then the 5 days prior to the concert in this case - I think they did that to increase the publicity again before the show. Early announcement would allow so fans of the opening act have a chance to get great tickets (esp when a larger area of Mile One is being used) or to make arrangements to travel. To all the fans - Rock out at Saturday's show!!!! PS: I have to agree that there was a lot of advertising for the show - VOCM, the Telegram & admission.com or www.mileonecentre.com - something it's a decent idea to do from time to time anyway.

  • Amazed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Mr Busy Body;
    While I'm not a huge fan, I know who he is. The article covers who he is quite nicely.
    Man, negativity lives! I didn't hear of him, or I never heard he was coming so it's someone's fault but mine. Lighten up!
    Plus, if anyone is interested in anything, Google is your friend!

  • Mr. Busy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    My question is - - Who the heck is Chris Isaac?

  • don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Anyone got any free tickets that they don't need?

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    What!?!?! Chris Isaak AND Sarah Slean are coming THIS Saturday! Hey Mile One...way to promote...might have considered this but with 2 days notice...we'll have to give Mr Isaak and Ms Slean a pass :(

  • Mr. Busy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    I apologize Amazed.

  • Amazed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    VOCM has promoted the heck out of this show for a long time now, it's been in the papers. What else do you want for promotion, a personal phone call?

  • Nicole
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    You'd have to be crazy to miss his show! I saw him years ago and wasn't a fan before the concert. But he is an incredible performer on stage and he and his band are supremely talented.

  • karin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    He looks EXACTLY like the picture!

    Go see him and his SEXY BAND, SILVERTONE!

  • Ms C
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Luckily, I bought good tickets for Chris Isaac 1st when they went on sale - & seats were excellent. I googled & found out Chris puts off a great show and has devoted fans that follow him everywhere. I was delighted that Sarah Slean is joining him - I would probably not have gone to a solo show of hers (although many people love her shows). The even better news is that I checked online & there are PLENTY OF GOOD TICKETS AVAILABLE - BECAUSE THIS IS A MOLSON CLUB SET-UP, ALL SEATS ARE FAIRLY CLOSE TO THE STAGE. I wish Mile One would announce opening acts earlier (then the 5 days prior to the concert in this case - I think they did that to increase the publicity again before the show. Early announcement would allow so fans of the opening act have a chance to get great tickets (esp when a larger area of Mile One is being used) or to make arrangements to travel. To all the fans - Rock out at Saturday's show!!!! PS: I have to agree that there was a lot of advertising for the show - VOCM, the Telegram & admission.com or www.mileonecentre.com - something it's a decent idea to do from time to time anyway.

  • Amazed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Mr Busy Body;
    While I'm not a huge fan, I know who he is. The article covers who he is quite nicely.
    Man, negativity lives! I didn't hear of him, or I never heard he was coming so it's someone's fault but mine. Lighten up!
    Plus, if anyone is interested in anything, Google is your friend!

  • Mr. Busy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    My question is - - Who the heck is Chris Isaac?

  • don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Anyone got any free tickets that they don't need?

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    What!?!?! Chris Isaak AND Sarah Slean are coming THIS Saturday! Hey Mile One...way to promote...might have considered this but with 2 days notice...we'll have to give Mr Isaak and Ms Slean a pass :(

  • Mr. Busy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    I apologize Amazed.

  • Amazed
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    VOCM has promoted the heck out of this show for a long time now, it's been in the papers. What else do you want for promotion, a personal phone call?

  • Nicole
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    You'd have to be crazy to miss his show! I saw him years ago and wasn't a fan before the concert. But he is an incredible performer on stage and he and his band are supremely talented.